OGC Newsletter - March 2002
Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Demonstration Postponed
Focus on OGC's Interoperability Program: MMI-1 and OWS-1
OGC at GITA
Interoperability Program Update
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
MULTI-HAZARD MAPPING INITIATIVE DEMONSTRATION POSTPONED
The Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Demonstration scheduled for Friday, March 29 has been postponed. However, we encourage interested individuals to register, so that once plans are finalized, we can contact you with the details of the new date and location. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your interest in and support of the Interoperability Program.
Organizations that build and use applications requiring geospatial data and services need to prepare for a new way of doing business. OGC Web Services will profoundly improve - and change - how users discover, access, manipulate, and visualize geospatial information. Change will come soon. The national Homeland Security initiative adds urgency to the longstanding need for data sharing between agencies at all levels of government, and this increases pressure on our industry to develop OGC Web Services and deploy them in products.
OpenGIS Specifications provide an interoperability framework not only for automated discovery and access to data, but also for automated discovery, access and use of sensors and geoprocessing resources. This framework for distributed geoprocessing is totally consistent with the frameworks being built for Web-based information systems in general. Some Web Service components for geospatial solutions are available now in commercial products and others will become available soon. This is enough to begin with, just as in the broader IT industry, where enterprises are actively deploying Web-based business solutions based on what works now and what is expected to become available a year or two.
OGC invites data coordination groups to look at how OGC is approaching data sharing, semantics, and data fusion. Vendors and integrators will be offering solutions in the next year or two that will leverage traditional data coordination in ways that most data coordination participants never thought possible. OGC continues to work closely with The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) on technical solutions to semantic problems, work that proceeds now in partnership with GeoSpatial One-Stop.
There are remarkable opportunities here for both technology providers and technology users. Those that embrace totally proprietary, monolithic models run the risk of being replaced by organizations working in the mainstream of Web service development. Providers of this technology will deliver much more than was possible before, at a far lower cost to taxpayers, businesses, and consumers.
President, Open GIS Consortium
FOCUS ON OGC'S INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAM: MMI-1 AND OWS-1
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsored OGC's Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative (MMI-1) to develop and test an interoperable, standards based framework for the discovery and distribution of geospatial multi-hazard data between federal, state, and local emergency management agencies.
Working with products that implement OGC's OpenGIS Specifications provides FEMA with insights into building what Scott McAfee, a geographic information systems coordinator for FEMA, calls "a living atlas of hazards data." In exploring the creation of a hazards map server for state and local government and public usage, the agency recognized that in the long run it would not be practical to attempt to host and maintain all of the hazards and base data required for a comprehensive hazard mapping site. "We realized that many hazard maps utilize base maps such as those from USGS, and that we did not want to store and serve that data. It became clear that the best solution was to encourage the development of base map services as well as hazard map services that we could tap into." And that, McAfee concluded, meant standards-based interoperability.
Work on the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 1 (OWS-1) was already well underway on September 11th. When the initiative sponsors met with New York City officials early in November 2001, the decision was made to focus on New York City.
Individual vignettes comprising the OWS-1 demo activities, held March 7 in Washington, DC, included collecting and mapping real-time air and water quality data from diverse remote sensors; styling and rendering multi-spectral imagery from satellite and airborne instruments; publishing and discovering online map data sets; and combining vector, image, and sensor data into unified map displays. Since rescue and recovery situations changed minute by minute in the early hours and days after September 11, one key issue was timely update of data. How could, for example, a worker from the Department of Transportation update a road closure from the organization's specialty GIS applications and have that be accessible to all those viewing the data? The answer, shown at the demonstrations, was to use software that implements the OpenGIS Web Feature Server Interface Specification (WFS).
Stefan Falke, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow at EPA, was particularly interested in exploring how to make sensor data available in near-real time to those who need it. "The OWS-1 Initiative work," says Falke "means that analysts can not only get at sensor data, but can seamlessly integrate it with other data, including imagery, base maps and other resources." The OGC Sensor Web Interfaces developed in OWS-1, when implemented in vendors' software, will provide the ability to search for, discover and access sensors in a more timely and direct fashion than ever before.
What does Falke expect to see in the coming years as a result of the sensor interoperability work? "This will change how we work. Analysts will spend less time finding, formatting and processing data and more time using the data for research and decision making."
Jeff Harrison Director,
Note: This article is excerpt from an upcoming feature in GeoWorld.
OGC AT GITA
This year at GITA might have been called the "Year of Interoperability." On the show floor, in the sessions, even in the closing panel, the "I" word was everywhere!
OGC's interoperability treasure hunt, which asked attendees to visit member booths and have a look at their interoperable solutions, was a big hit. Many people completed the whole circuit returning to the OGC booth with a fully stamped game card that entered them in a drawing for a GPS-enabled PDA. They also got a quick quiz from OGC staff on what they had learned. The responses were without exception "on the money": OGC interfaces "are the glue that makes the software work together" said one entrant.
The winner of the PDA, Brett Hauf, a GIS project manager at Arizona Public Service, learned that "all the vendors are really talking to each other and cooperating a lot more." This was Hauf's first GITA conference and he was very pleased, explaining that the show gives you "the flavor of the whole marketplace."
Hauf picked up his prize just before the closing Giga-panel. The moderator asked leading vendor executives to speak to what they were doing to grow interoperability, and how it would be moved forward. One response, from Warren Ferguson of GE Network Solutions, reminded end-users that they have to demand interoperability from their software providers.
INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAM UPDATE
The OGC Interoperability Program (IP) is a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver proven candidate interface specifications into the OGC Specification Development Program.
OGC released its most recent Request for Quotation (RFQ) for the OGC Web Services Phase 1 Threadset 2 (OWS-1.2) on Thursday, March 14, 2002. Responses are requested from potential participants by April 12, 2002. OWS-1.2 will build off the achievements of OWS-1.1 and other previous OGC Interoperability Initiatives. Areas of interest for the OWS-1.2 sponsors include continuing work on the Common Architecture with consideration given to UDDI, web-based image exploitation, and further refinements of SensorWeb Enablement. OWS-1.2 is scheduled to kick-off Monday, May 20, 2002.
Organizations interested in sponsoring or participating in OGC Interoperability Program initiatives should contact Jeff Harrison at (703) 491-9543.
Laser-Scan has been a TC level member of OGC since 1996 and co-hosted the first OGC meeting held outside North America. The company has been an active participant in many OGC Interoperability Initiatives including the Web Mapping Testbeds, Web Services, the Military Pilot Project, and Geography Markup Language (GML), the Web Feature Server specification and the harmonization of ISO TC211 and OGC specifications.
OGC participation brings the company significant benefits over and above the basic deliverable of interoperable architectures and interfaces for our products and services. It provides both an input channel and a filter for developments and trends from the mainstream IT industry. It also provides a business development network for both users and potential technology partners. OGC strives to balance tested implementation specifications with a coherent model-driven Roadmap, whilst taking advantage of key emerging technologies - this, together with the emphasis on openness and partnerships, is a very close match to Laser-Scan's corporate philosophy.
Laser-Scan Ltd., Cambridge, UK
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since February 2002.
Harvard Design and Mapping (HDM)
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
OGC IN THE NEWS
-OGC in the Press
GML & Web Feature Server: The Baseline for Online Geoservices (pdf)
Vincent Dessard of Ionic examines the role interoperability will play in bringing GIS services to market. GeoInformatics, March 2002
Interoperability's a Hot Topic at GITA
Jim Engelhardt looks at the "I" word at GITA. GeoSpatial Solutions,
Project Will Create Consensus on Geographic Data
This article provides a good first look at FGDC, OGC and Geospatial One-Stop. American City & County,
Intergraph Sets the Pace for Open Data Exchange with WMSviewer.com
March 18, 2002
- OGC Press Releases
March 25, 2002
OGC Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Addresses Interoperability Challenges in Disaster Planning
March 14, 2002
OGC Issues Request for Quotation for Second Thread of Web Services Initiative
March 12, 2002
OGC and PCIA Announce Agreement to Co-Promote Open Location Services
March 07, 2002
OGC Demonstrates Major Advances in Interoperable Geoprocessing for Military
Web Interoperability Moves One Step Closer
March 15, 2002
April 8-12, 2002
Reston, VA, United States, OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings, hosted by BAE Systems
April 19-26, 2002
Washington, DC, FIG -
Several panels will cover GSDI, interoperability and highlight a partnership underway in North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Details and dates for GIS 2002 and the next OGC meetings
in London and the Netherlands are on the events website.
For further info on events please contact Greg Buehler,
gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org.
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial.org
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Copyright 2002 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.